by Brig Arun Bajpai

On 27 October, speaking on Infantry Day , Indian Army Chief threatened Pakistan that if it does not stop cross border terrorism then Indian Army has other means also to deal with it. what purpose does this threatening serve ? response from Pakistani media was that empty vessels make more noise. When will our Chief learn that these threats will have no effect on Pakistan , read Pakistani army. They fully know that except Ninda and Kadi Ninda, Indian political masters lack the political will to do anything more against Pakistan.

Pakistan joined America in Jihad against Soviet Union occupation of Afghanistan in late seventies, basically to get American money and weapons as also to clandestinely develop its nuclear bomb. It achieved all its aims in ten years or so that this Jihad sooner than Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan, US lost interest in Pakistan. Pakistan then diverted lot of its fully armed Jihadists and money that it got from US towards India, in proxy war against India, in Kashmir. This proxy war took real shape in 1988 when Pakistan got its nuclear bomb fully tested by China. Behind its nuclear shield Pakistan has been conducting this proxy war against India since 1988 in Kashmir. Till date, by an approximate estimate more than 6000 security persons and 72,000 civilians have died in Kashmir. What is so peculiar about this proxy war is that while from Pakistani side the people who are dying are these Jihadists, who are basically cannon fodder to Pakistani army, on Indian side we are losing our trained soldiers. needless to say this proxy war is very economical to Pakistan and its army, while they are bleeding Indian Army and our Paramilitary forces. Since 1988 so many governments have come and gone in India, so many Army Chiefs have faced this problem since 1988, however except for Ninda and Kadi Ninda by our politicians and retaliation by our Army only after these Jihadists cross into India from Pakistan, there has been no out of box thinking in India to win this proxy war. So what effect this new threatening by current army chief Bipin Rawat to Pakistan will have? In my opinion nil.

In the last decade plus, whenever Indian Netas of congress led UPA government were asked about this proxy war waged by Pakistan on India, their stock reply was that Pakistan is a nuclear power and we can not start a war on them .It was coolly forgotten that in 1999 when both India and Pakistan were nuclear powers , Pakistan came in and occupied 142 sq Km area of India in Kargil and our being nuclear did not deter them.. Here again, instead of opening other fronts in Kashmir and minimising our casualties, we attacked at so many heights this Pakistani Army occupying in Kargil, frontally, because our Netas could not muster courage to do so. In the bargain we bought so many extra casualties, for Indian Netas Indian soldiers are cannon fodder. It was the heroic courage of Indian Army that we still won this war despite attacking Pakistani army frontally and buying more casualties. When Modi Government came in 2014, they said that they have given free hand to the army to do what they feel like against Pakistan. Initially it did appear that they are going to walk the talk. They even carried out a surgical strike. But after that everything got going as per previous government. same lack of political will. This year the current Modi Government is tom-toming this surgical strike by celebrating a surgical strike week. A cheap political gimmick. If it was any other country like Israel, they would not have conducted just one surgical strike but would have struck not these Jihadists but Pakistani Army across the border every time their Jihadists come across to India to attack us. At one time the option of hot pursuit was also considered but was given up because our political masters could not muster the courage.

Only language Pakistani Army understands is tit for tat. No proxy war can be won if we allow their Jihadists to come across to India and then only act against them. Similarly no proxy war can be won if we leave Pakistani Army, the real perpetrators of this war, untouched and only act against the Jihadists who are basically cannon fodder. Need of the hour is that every time Pakistan Army sends across their Jihadists , basically their cannon fodder, cross border to India, let Paramilitary forces deal with them. our Army should launch a counter strike aimed at damaging and killing Pakistani army. Yes, there will be casualties to us also but then are we not suffering casualties now? This has to be accepted. once Pakistani army knows that Indian Army will strike back against them they will back out. We must not forget that Pakistani Army is a political Army they just cannot afford to buy casualties. As for nuclear war , let this be clear to us that no Pakistani General will ever start a nuclear war just because Indian Army has come in few kilometres into Pakistani territory. Truth is that Pakistan dare not start a nuclear war at all because they know that there country lacks depth in terms of area and in Indian retaliation they will be wiped out. No Pakistani General getting fat commission on every deal stuck in Pakistan will want to lose all his goodies. Read Pakistani author Ayesha Siddiqa book the “Military Incorporation”. It is time now that Indian Netas tighten their Dhotis one more notch, put on Huggees’ if necessary and start listening to Army advice instead of IPS class who know nothing of war or proxy wars. We cannot afford to lose our trained solders to Pakistan Army sponsored Jihadists. We must hit Pakistani Army. World will accept our actions because they all know including America that how Pakistani army continues to sponsor Jihadists.

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same